Ah love – that ephemeral, slippery word. Why so? Because we think of love as a pure emotion, when it is really messy – sooner or later it gets mixed into the cholent pot of other relationships we have to have with our spouse – earning a living, and running a house, and education, and illness. In other words, love is only one of the ingredients in a successful marriage. And just like life is not fair, so goes it with love – we never get that perfect feeling, or we think that others have it and we don’t. But just like life is not fair, but it is good, so goes it with love. We need to introduce a new heresy – the idea of imperfect love.
But, another error lies here – the idea that love is a verb. “I love you.” A more mature person might say that love is a goal – a vision that drives the relationship. Still not there. What love really is, is a result, a consequence. That is why it is so closely associated with happiness. We think of happiness and love as inextricably bound, as if you cannot be in love if you are miserable. But happiness too is a consequence. It is a function of a meaningful life. It cannot be a goal (in this world) – it will escape the one who makes it a goal. If so, then love too. Love can then be defined as the consequence of a meaningful relationship. Let us end at the beginning.